- This past Friday’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a preliminary viewership of 2,254,000 viewers on FOX, according to SpoilerTV.
- Saturday’s WWE Elimination Chamber 2023 event in Montreal, Canada featured a surprise appearance by Logan Paul. Paul made his surprise return during the Men’s Elimination Chamber match costing Seth Rollins a chance at winning the United States Championship. Prior to the start of the event, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources confirmed WWE had plans set in place for a match between Paul and Rollins at this April’s WrestleMania 39 event.
- Saturday’s Elimination Chamber 2023 event also featured Asuka defeating Carmella, Raquel Rodriguez, Nikki Cross, Natayla, and Liv Morgan in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. This match was for the #1 Contender for the RAW Women’s Championship with the winner to face off against champion Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 39
- Saturday’s Elimination Chamber 2023 event also featured WWE airing a “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood” ad involving Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch parodying The Joker and Batman from 2019 film Joker.
- Prior to the start of Elimination Chamber 2023 event, WWE released a video diary earlier in the day featuring Sami Zayn’s wife Khadija. In the video, Khadija discussed her excitement for her husband’s match against Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in his hometown and how this would be the most important match of his career.
- This past NBA All-Star 2023 Celebrity basketball game featured The Miz hitting a half-court shot that would have tied the game but did not count due to him taking the shot after time had expired.
- This past Friday’s WWE SmackDown show in Montreal featured Gunther defeating Madcap Moss to retain his Intercontinental Championship. Following the show, WWE held an interview with Madcap Moss and Emma teasing a potential heel turn by the duo. During the interview, Moss blamed the fans for turning on him during the match and Emma blamed the crowd for being the reason why Moss lost.
- NXT reportedly will be holding pre-show fan Q&A sessions for their house show events in Florida going forward, according to PWInsider. Mike Johnson reported that these pre-show fan sessions will not be free and instead will be an added cost on top of the cost for tickets to shows.
- During a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle revealed that he will be undergoing a medical procedure on his back next month. Angle stated “They’re not going to do any fusion or anything like that, thank God. They’re going to clean it out. They’re going to clean all the arthritis out because I have a nerve going down my leg and it’s bothering me. There’s pain in my lower back. So, they’re going to clean all that stuff out, take the bone chips out, the calcium and stuff like that. He said I should be good to go after that. He said it might not relieve all the lower back pain, but you’re not going to feel the pain running down your leg.” (Transcript h/t: WrestlingNews.co)
- As noted before, WWE is currently in the process of potentially selling the company to a new owner. Dave Meltzer issued a correction in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporting that if WWE were to sell for around $8 billion, the actual amounts would be closer to $3.098 billion for WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon, $199.8 million for former WWE co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, $61.135 million for Linda McMahon, $29.9 million for WWE Executive Producer & Head of Global Television Distribution Kevin Dunn, $10.9 million for WWE CEO Nick Khan, and $7.7 million for WWE COO Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Meltzer reported that when adding in new company stock grants, WWE President would receive $16.1 million while Levesque’s amount would rise to $9.8 million and Dunn’s amount would rise to $31.2 million.
- WWE reportedly had plans at one point for WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus to make an appearance at this past Monday’s RAW show in Brooklyn, New York, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that his sources stated that Stratus’ appearance likely would have been for the build of a potential feud between Lita & Stratus and Damage CTRL. Meltzer reported that these plans were pulled due to Dakota Kai’s current unknown injury she suffered last month. WWE officials reportedly still have plans to bring back Stratus at some point in the future.
- WWE filed a trademark for “Eddy Thrope” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on February 13th to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This is the new ring name of former New Japan Pro Wrestling talent Karl Fredericks.
- As noted before, Matt Riddle has been out of action for WWE since this past December due to him failing a second drug test and being sent to rehab. Dave Meltzer reported that while Riddle’s 60-day suspension for his second drug test ended on February 3rd, his sources stated that WWE officials have not held any talks recently regarding potential return plans for Riddle.
- WWE reportedly generated an attendance of 6,449 (5,800 paid) for their Feb. 10th SmackDown show in Uncasville, CT and 10,818 (9,700 paid) for their Feb. 13th RAW show in Brooklyn, NY, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- WWE reportedly has sold around 7,072 tickets for their Feb. 20th RAW show in Ottawa, Canada, 6,225 tickets for their Feb. 24th SmackDown show in Evansville, IN, 3,291 tickets for their Feb. 25th house show event in Champaign, IL, 3,179 tickets for their Feb. 26th house show event in Rockford, IL, 6,627 tickets for their Feb. 27th RAW show in Grand Rapids, MI, 7,295 tickets for their March 3rd SmackDown show in Washington, DC, 4,811 tickets for their March 4th house show event in Toronto, Canada, 2,878 tickets for their March 4th house show event in Syracuse, NY, 5,003 tickets for their March 5th house show event in Trenton, NJ, 4,056 tickets for their March 5th house show event in Kitchener, Canada, 6,033 tickets for their March 6th RAW show in Boston, MA, 5,190 tickets for their March 10th SmackDown show in Pittsburgh, PA, 2,991 tickets for their March 11th house show event in Youngstown, OH, 6,511 tickets for their March 12th house show event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY, 3,736 tickets for their March 13th RAW show in Providence, RI, 4,819 tickets for their March 17th SmackDown show in Kansas City, MO, 2,608 for their March 18th house show event in Milwaukee, WI, 4,394 tickets for their March 18th house show event in Fargo, ND, 2,395 for their March 19th house show event in Sioux Falls, SD, 1,924 tickets for their March 19th house show event in Springfield, IL, and 6,787 tickets for their March 20th RAW show in St. Louis, MO as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- During a recent interview with PopCulture.com, Corey Graves revealed that he has been working in WWE’s Performance Center helping NXT talent with the development of their characters in the company. Graves stated “I’ve recently started working with the NXT talent on helping develop characters and things of that nature, and I’ve really enjoyed it thus far. So I’m really looking forward to working with NXT a lot more as the year progresses. I’d like to remind everybody one more time that I have been cleared to compete and I can’t think of a better scenario for me to step back in the ring than alongside my beautiful wife.”
- As noted before, WWE was rumored to be underwhelmed and disappointed with the work of several of their recently rehired talents. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that one longtime WWE employee spoken to reportedly stated that this issue has been severely downplayed within the company. Another source spoken to reportedly stated that this would be something they believe Paul “Triple H” Levesque would never say in public even if he felt it to be true. One member of WWE’s creative team spoken to stated that none of the recently rehired talents were ever planned to be given an immediate big push due to the top of the card has already been mapped out. Other sources spoken to stated that WWE’s recent hirings were meant to act as just added depth for their RAW and SmackDown brands and the longterm plan was for gradual pushes for each returned talent. Those same sources spoken to reportedly gave Bronson Reed and Johnny Gargano’s recent performances as examples of “showing their value when given an opportunity.”
AEW & ROH
- This past Saturday’s IGN Fan Fest 2023 event featured IGN revealing a new gameplay trailer for AEW’s upcoming Fight Forever video game.
- This past Saturday’s event for DDT Pro Wrestling in Nagoya, Japan featured Penelope Ford defeating Saki Akai for the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship during a backstage segment in the show.
- During a recent interview with the Swerve City Podcast, Kenny Omega gave his thoughts about his mindset when it came to his decision to leave New Japan Pro Wrestling and join AEW in 2019. Omega stated “Whether I believe it or not, that’s not even important but people did believe that I was one of the best doing it and I didn’t feel I deserved to be called that if I couldn’t succeed in America or if I couldn’t succeed doing a television style. I just feel like there are other people that are so good at doing that. I mean, you got your Randy Ortons, you got your John Cenas… Exactly, that have been doing it for 20 years. Even (Chris) Jericho, he knows exactly — we never really talk about it and I don’t know if this is too inside baseball but I remember there was one of the shows in year one at AEW where we didn’t even have the match, we didn’t even have it but we were the main event and we had to go out there. It was me and Hanger (Hangman Adam Page) against Jericho and Sammy (Guevara) and just knowing I was in the ring with Jericho and knowing that we didn’t have anything, I was like, I should be nervous, I should be scared but, at this point, I should trust myself and if I can’t trust myself, I sure as hell better trust Jericho because he deserves that trust and respect so you know what? I’m gonna be confident in this and we hit our time perfectly. So it’s like, if you don’t have that experience, you’re going to have awkward, dead air or you’re going to get the show going completely dark and you don’t have a finish yet, and then, we’re in the best wrestler of the year, best wrestler ever conversations start there, they end there actually, you know what I mean?” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- AEW reportedly generated an attendance of 3,400 (3,100 paid) for their Feb. 15th Dynamite show in Laredo, TX, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- AEW reportedly has sold around 6,281 tickets for their Feb. 22nd Dynamite show in Phoenix, AZ, 6,921 tickets for their March 5th Revolution 2023 event in San Francisco, CA, 4,276 tickets for their March 8th Dynamite show in Sacramento, CA, 6,597 tickets for their March 15th Dynamite show in Winnipeg, Canada, 2,847 tickets for their March 22nd Dynamite show in Independence, MO, 2,402 tickets for their March 29th Dynamite show in St. Louis, MO, 4,456 tickets for their April 5th Dynamite show in Long Island, NY, 2,256 tickets for their April 12th Dynamite show in Milwaukee, WI, and 3,430 tickets for their April 19th Dynamite show in Pittsburgh, PA as of this past Thursday, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- During a recent episode of the Hot Boxin‘ podcast, co-host and legendary boxer Mike Tyson stated that he would rather make future appearances in WWE than AEW even if AEW were to pay him more money. Tyson stated “Tony Khan and those guys, these guys wanted to put me on the show and stuff before. I don’t care if they got more money. Vince put on the show, I’d rather go there, even though [AEW] pay more money.” This episode featured WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker as the guest who responded stating “I don’t blame you there. It’s going to get much more play. WWE is going to do it right.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
- As noted before, AEW officials had some safety concerns over this past Wednesday’s Dynamite show in Laredo, Texas due to it taking place close to the U.S.-Mexico border. During a recent virtual fan signing event for Highspots Superstore, Hangman Adam Page revealed that he was almost detained at the border due to an issue with a passenger in his car, who was later discovered to not be a U.S. citizen and did not have their passport on hand when asked by border officials. Page stated “I almost got detained at the border last night too, yeah. I might’ve ended up in Mexico by accident. I still don’t know. I had to go through a border crossing check and someone in the car who is not an American citizen didn’t have their passport… I fly into San Antonio and then drove two-and-a-half hours to Laredo because Laredo would have been three flights and that’s just too many. It’s one too many at least… It doesn’t make sense, I don’t know. You tell me. You’re from Laredo, you tell me how I went through a border crossing without crossing a border, I don’t know. But we did, we almost got detained but, I’m here. I am not in prison in America or Mexico. I’m doing well.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- As noted before, Thunder Rosa recently joined AEW’s Spanish commentary team as part of her current recovery process from a spinal-related injury. During a recent interview with the Busted Open Radio podcast, Rosa gave her thoughts about working as a member of AEW’s Spanish commentary team. Rosa stated “It’s like the whole spectrum of the show. Doing commentary, and I’ve said this before, it’s not an easy task. One, we are, many times translating live some of the action that is happening. If someone cuts a promo, we have to translate ‘like that.’ As you can imagine, your brain is on overload, and you have the music and the people, and everything. It’s not an easy task. I’m super excited that the company was able to give me another platform to develop the other skills that I have. I have excellent reviews, I’m working on it even more. I felt that it was a need for me to start taking broadcasting classes because I’m doing this more and I want to get better. I have to be a champion on this and be the best that I can be. The other aspect that I’m doing with AEW is doing a lot of interviews to promote the show. It’s important to get the word out of AEW. We want more eyes on the show and it’s important for us to be more successful.” Rosa also gave her thoughts about her current plans for her in-ring return in the future. Rosa stated “I’m taking my time and rehab is going well. I actually lifted, I did deadlifts for the first time, five little pounds. I’m feeling a lot stronger. I want to make sure that when I return to the ring, I’m ready mentally and physically. I want to give the best show that I can and the new Thunder Rosa is coming. I’m focusing on myself and what I need to do when I return. When I come back, everyone will know that I’m coming back. Every setback is an opportunity to work on things you don’t work on. I’m doing my homework now. The same person that left seven months ago can’t come back.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
- Chris Jericho filed a trademark for “Jeri-Show” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on February 13th to the USPTO. This was the name of the tag team of Jericho and Big Show in WWE in 2009.
- AEW filed a trademark for “AEW Collision” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes on February 15th to the USPTO. This trademark is currently rumored to be potentially for a new AEW-themed television series based on the wording of the trademark.
- In a recent interview with the Sports Guys Talk Wrestling podcast, AEW CEO Tony Khan gave his thoughts about his plans to eventually air the footage from AEW’s first ever house show called The House Always Wins, which took place in 2021. Khan stated “We have these great opportunities, we have a great team working on it. We’ve had great AEW live events, I’ve worked closely with Rafael Morffi and the team for a long time. Now, we have, on top of that, we brought in Jeff Jarrett, who is one of the greatest minds in pro wrestling on the promotional side, but also in the ring, what a strategist. Truly, still, one of the best. He’s come in and been a great wrestler for us, I have so much respect for his mind, in and out of the ring. On the wrestling side and promotional side, he’s had a great impact on our live event business. He’s a great person to have in our locker room. The House Rules is the next step. I started this movement, and it’s why I wanted to work with him. Raf and I put on an event with our team in Jacksonville, our first ‘house show,’ The House Always Wins. It’s become almost mythical because I never released the tape. I’ve been waiting for the right time. People still talk about the main event, for the TNT Championship, Darby Allin against The Butcher. The Butcher ended up getting injured, he had a hand injury that not only put him out of the music business but also out of the tag team and wrestling business.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
Indies & Misc. Wrestling
- Saturday’s launch of the newest XFL season featured co-owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson delivering a pre-match promo on the field prior to the start of the first game of the season.
- Saturday’s Excite Series 2023 event for All Japan Pro Wrestling in Tokyo, Japan featured Yuji Nagata defeating Kento Miyahara to be crowned the new Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion. This was Nagata’s first ever Triple Crown title win in AJPW.
- New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly generated a paid attendance of 653 for their Feb. 9th Road to the New Beginning 2023 event in Saku and 4,056 for their Feb. 11th The New Beginning in Osaka 2023 event in Osaka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- During a recent interview with the Wrestling Observer Radio, Rocky Romero revealed that NJPW will be making an announcement soon regarding their plans for a major event to take place this May. Romero stated “We’re gonna announce a big show in May that’s gonna happen. We’re probably gonna announce that (at NJPW Battle in the Valley) hopefully and then, so, that’ll also depend, obviously if it’s in May, Best of Super Juniors going on in Japan so might be (a) more heavyweight-filled show, you know? As opposed to having it a mixture of juniors and other talent on there… In July and August, we plan on (doing) a couple of events and those are probably more junior-based because obviously, the G1 is going on during that time. So, we definitely have taken the schedule into consideration for the most part, really as much as we can this year so we can provide the best product but then also have it be a little different depending on what’s going on in Japan.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
- Mercedes Mone recently released a mini-documentary about her road to and official debut for NJPW at their Wrestle Kingdom 17 event this past January.
- In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Mercedes Mone gave her thoughts about her recent signing with NJPW and praised her fans for their support shown toward her. Mone stated “I have the greatest fans in the entire world. They followed me to Wrestle Kingdom. There was 30% new viewership from the United States, and that’s because of my crew. To be away from them for nine months has been incredibly hard. Now we get to start a whole new chapter and go on a whole new ride.”
- WrestleCon recently announced that Mercedes Mone will be making an appearance for the company at their WrestleCon 2023 convention on April 2nd in Los Angeles, California.
- This past Wednesday’s episode of Power Slap drew 275,000 viewers and a 0.09 key demographic rating on TBS, according to ShowBuzz Daily. This was equal to last week’s viewership but up compared to last week’s 0.08 key demographic rating.
- As noted before, MLW talents Arez and Aramis recently requested and were denied their releases from Major League Wrestling. Lucha Libre AAA booker Konnan stated in a recent episode of the K100 with Konnan and Disco podcast that the recent reports of Arez and Aramis wanting to leave MLW are not completely true. Konnan stated that Arez told him that he did not want the story of his issues with MLW being made public while Aramis denied requesting his release. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that both Konnan and MLW were not happy over the story of the release requests being made public but in regards to Arez, the reports of him asking to be released are true.
- As noted before, this past Tuesday’s MLW Underground show drew 73,000 viewers and a 0.02 key demographic rating on REELZ Channel. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that MLW drew an additional 6,000 viewers for their West Coast airing bringing the total to 79,000 viewers for this past week’s show on REELZ. Meltzer also reported that MLW drew 24,000 key demographic viewers for their combined East and West Coast airings, down from last week’s 38,000 viewers. Meltzer also reported that as a result of the large decline from their key demographic viewership, this past week’s MLW show skewed much older than their debut show.
- Consejo Mundial De Lucha Libre reportedly generated an attendance of around 8,000 for their Super Viernes event in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Lucha Libre AAA recently announced that they will be holding a co-promoted event with the National Wrestling Alliance on March 4th in Iztacalco, Mexico. This event will be held as part of the festivities for the upcoming Smashing Pumpkins concert in the city.
- Rey Escorpion’s contract with AAA reportedly is currently rumored to have recently expired, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dave Meltzer reported that the basis for this rumor involves Escorpion currently being booked to wrestle at an event on February 24th for The Crash promotion and AAA’s current restriction not allowing their talent to work at Crash events.
- Stardom reportedly generated a paid attendance of 602 for their Feb. 11th Triangle Derby event in Niigata and 647 for their Feb. 12th Triangle Derby event in Fujisan, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Stardom recently announced the full schedule, bracket and First Round matchups for this year’s Cinderella Tournament, which takes place from March 26th to April 15th in Japan.
- Pro Wrestling NOAH reportedly generated a paid attendance of 2,092 for their Feb. 12th Great Voyage in Osaka event in Osaka, Japan, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- DEFY Wrestling reportedly generated an attendance of over 800 for their Feb. 11th Year 6 event in Seattle, WA, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Fight Network recently announced that a new wrestling-based documentary series titled Diary featuring Impact Wrestling talent will be debuting on their network within the near future.
- During a recent interview with TV Insider, Mercedes Mone stated that she is currently interested in the idea of having a match with Mickie James in the future. Mone stated “The thing is I’m a free agent. It doesn’t matter with New Japan. I can go anywhere. I can go to New Japan, IMPACT, Mexico, Germany, Europe. The potential matchups are endless. The same for New Japan. I know they have partnerships with CMLL, IMPACT, AEW. To be a fan and watch all these matchups from all parts of the world is amazing. I know there is a little woman in IMPACT I would love to face one day, Mickie James! We’ll see what is in the stars.”
- Indie wrestler Jurn Simmons announced on Twitter that recently underwent emergency surgery for appendicitis. Simmons stated that he started to feel stomach pains following his work at Westside Xtreme Wrestling’s event on February 11th in Bielefeld, Germany and reached a point where he went to a hospital for treatment.
- Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling recently announced that Miyu Yamashita will be going on a new tour of the United States that will be taking place from this April to this June.